research should focus on developing three-dimensional vision capabilities and
methods to provide better information to air crews as part of the effort to cut
the risk of controlled-flight-into-terrain (CFIT), recommends a new
pan-European strategic plan.
newly-published strategic agenda from the Advisory Council for Aeronautics
Research in Europe (ACARE) – a joint governmental/industry body set up last
year to steer European research – aims to reduce the CFIT accident rate by 90% through
eliminating the majority of causes identified as primary contributors to such
proposes a short-term investigation into improving the analysis of in-service
experience data, in order to generate better software tools for operators, and
recommends the development of 3-D vision enhancement systems.
it also highlights the need to improve delivery of information to pilots. This
not only covers better provision of air traffic control instructions, terrain
and obstacle data, and trajectory information – possibly via datalink – but the
development of improved warning cues, both visual and aural, for
research forms part of the strategy laid down to address safety improvements
during approach and landing; the research plan also recommends further
investigation into satellite-based trajectory control, and development of
tactical decision-support tools for pilots. In the longer term, it says,
researchers should aim to reduce accidents by developing fully-automated
approach and landing systems.
agenda, designed to span the period to 2020, sets a target of cutting the air
accident rate by 80% through joint European strategic research and subsequent
implementation of products in the short, medium and long term.
and landing-accident reduction are two of the ten specific safety-improvement
channels along which ACARE is proposing that research be concentrated.
factors contributing to loss of aircraft control is listed as a priority. The
agenda envisions improved short-term development of training techniques and
tools to increase crew members’ abilities to recover from aircraft-upset and
recommendations include improving human-machine interface designs which take
greater account of crew behaviour, and question the validity of assumptions
regarding ‘normal’ pilot skills. Research should also study on-board aids to
assist crews in understanding failures in real-time and manage reconfiguration.
to reduce the risk of airprox incidents include researching new separation
concepts, and defining the acceptability of separation safety levels. The
agenda puts forward recommendations to study airborne separation assurance
applications – but also raises the controversial proposal to investigate
methods enabling airborne self-separation assurance.
agenda recognises the risks posed by meteorological phenomena and is proposing
research into detection and avoidance of wake vortices and clear-air
turbulence, possibly using laser-based technology, and better detection of
icing conditions. Weather-related research proposals also focus on guaranteeing
runway capacity during poor conditions – by studying airport-specific safety
aspects of high-crosswind landings and the effects of buildings on turbulence.
plan also focuses on research into five other areas affecting air transport
safety: human performance, ground operations, air accident survivability,
engineering and certification methods, and the identification of future